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Marketing Tips from Coke and Starbucks

Marketing Tips from the Legends: Coca Cola & Starbucks Case Studies

Adrienne analyzes how Coca Cola and Starbucks did it when marketing their brand.
by Adrienne Birge-Wilson

SAN diego, CA (Jan 20, 2013) – Analysis of the histories of both Coca-Cola and Starbucks offer us commoners a treasure trove of tips for our own marketing and branding campaigns. So, your are a startup company, mom & pop job, and/or small business that cannot yet conceive of Global domination? Here are 12 compiled tips from the legends that took them from obscurity to near mythical standings.

1. Begin any venture with in-depth market research and focus groups
· Starbucks did intensive research on coffee semantics, preferences, and already successful coffee stores to determine their initial product. · Dr. Pemberton based his introduction of Coca-Cola on the absence of alcohol during Prohibition in Atlanta. He filled the public's need for a tasty and "invigorating" drink within the confines of the law.

2. You must launch a totally original and quality concept, product, and/or service.
· Coca-Cola introduced its original syrup as a nerve tonic in 1886 in an Atlanta pharmacy that tasted good and put a spark in the patron's step!
· Starbucks went after the entire coffee experience, versus just a superior product.

3. Spend money on advertising, if for nothing but for brand recognition.
· Although immensely successful, Coke still puts out very stylized advertisements such as the Polar Bear Ad Campaign of the 1990's.

4. Spend money on your brand "look" (logo) and do giveaways of useful tools to distributors.
· Coca-Cola's first distributors were pharmacists. Early in the company history, they developed the unique script that is still used today in the branding. They put this logo on various objects, such as pharmaceutical scales, to keep their brand foremost in the minds of the people who matter. This was considered a marketing expense.

5. Make everything about your product unmistakeable.
· Coca-Cola held a contest to create a unique bottle that the user would be able to "recognize in the dark". "The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute Indiana" won with their contour bottle design. ( www.coca-colacompany.com )
· Starbucks came up with their own terminology and products, like the famous Frappuccino, developed in 1995 ( www.starbucks.com ).

6. Maintain consistency of products and services.
· Starbucks developed a standardized and imitable business model and extensively trained their employees on processes, products, company culture, and their brand of service.
· Wherever you go Coca-Cola Classic will taste the same!

7. Do not try to grow your company for its own sake.
· Focus on product and/or service quality and presentation! Every move must be calculated and well though out.

8. Make it a goal to make people happy, alongside whatever goals you may have.
· The Starbucks experience was created to make people happy. Drink a superior product in a comfortable setting. Recently the company has added wi-fi networks to stores. They also have free electrical outlets.
· Coca-Cola has always driven their product on the Americana Dream; a carefree image of good times. People associate product with that.

9. Convey a humanistic and selfless public image versus cold and corporate.
· Starbucks is a corporate giant but gives many charitable donations and heralds fair-trade.

10. Remain loyal to regional and cultural differences as you market your product. And target your differentiation based on localities.
· When Coca-Cola entered foreign markets, they introduced exclusively regional products alongside their staples. For instance, in Peru they made a golden soda called Inca Cola, with added sweetness for the local market and a clear lychee soda in Thailand.

11. Work with other companies on partnerships and brand associations.
· Starbucks has done many marketing blitzes, like their exclusive partnership with United Airlines, that only serves Starbucks brand coffee. Starbucks also partnered with Apple's I-Tunes to draw customers into the stores.
· In the 1980's Coca-Cola heavily marketed associations with sports such as FIFA, NBA, and Nascar.

12. Gather endorsements and testimonials, celebrities DO sell!
· One of Coca-Cola's first advertisements was a celebrity endorsement from music hall star, Hilda Clark in era between 1893 and 1904. In the late 1980's pop star Paula Abdul had a successful endorsement deal with Diet Coke.

13. Follow the trends of the time in your product and / or service.
· During the 1980's a fitness craze began to get America in shape Remember Sweatin to the Oldies' Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda workout videos? Coke evolved the Diet Coke product to go with this shift in the US mass mentality. · When WWII began, Coca-Cola took that opportunity to ensure that soldiers could have a Coke whenever they wanted one. This ended up introducing Coke to a Global market and making it a tie that binds soldiers to their American life, thereby making it indispensable, like a family member.

Try these techniques and see the changes happen!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca_cola
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks
http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/ourcompany/historybottling.html http://www.ciadvertising.org/sa/spring_04/adv382j/eliz126/ScottBedbury/NewFiles/starbucksprinciples.html http://www.starbucks.co.uk/en-GB/_About+Starbucks/History+of+Starbucks.htm

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Appeal Media is an independent, full-service digital agency focused on building durable connections between brands and consumers. Responsible for strategy, creative, technology, social, mobile, digital product development, search and analytics, the agency is a partner with some of the world's favorite brands, including Adobe, Sony, Sprint Wireless, and Cisco. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in San Diego, the company is recognized as an Award Winning company of the Webbys.